RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – While gas prices continue to rise, CBS 17 is looking for ways to help drivers find other commuting options to save some money on gas.

A statewide program called Share The Ride NC helps to connect drivers with others looking to carpool. It’s been around since 2007 and was launched by the state’s Department of Transportation.

Share The Ride administrator Paul Straw said they’re seeing an increase in users since gas started going up.

“We’re in the game of trying to reduce congestion and improve air quality. That’s essentially how our funded is determined for this statewide program,” said Straw.

He said the program has about 3,500 people actively using the app, and that most users are in urban areas.

“If there is an opportunity to find somebody that shares that commute, we give them the chance to connect,” Straw said. “Share The Ride NC something that is very important for us is we don’t share private information. The only thing that we share is a first name.”

How does it work?

Commuters simply register online or via the STRNC app, enter address, destination address, and schedule. Users will then get connected to someone in the area that seems to be the best match.

It’s up to the users to then reach out and have conversations about pick-up, schedules, and costs.

Straw said it’s important for people to go over details so it can potentially lead to a successful and long-lasting carpooling opportunity.

“Reach out, connect with other people who share your commute. These are people that live near you, and these are people that work near you, so these are people you will know and hopefully will lead to long-lasting carpool opportunities,” said Straw.

Share The Ride also helps users interested in riding their bikes find cycling buddies. The goal of the program is to promote any and every mode of transportation available to North Carolinians.

“It houses a lot of other services, such as van pool program, programs such as emergency ride homes, where we can give rides home in case of an emergency. But the heart of this system is connecting people for the carpool opportunities,” said Straw

Not only is this a way that drivers can save money on gas, but it’s also a way to help improve North Carolina’s air quality. Since 2015, Share The Ride said its users have helped to reduce at least 5.5. million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.